We´ve talked about the benefits of intermittent fasting not only for fat loss and to stay lean but also to improve our relationship with food and spiritual reasons. Here we´re going to see how this tool can help us stay lean while gaining muscle mass.
Many people when they want to gain muscle go through a “bulking phase” and when they want to lose fat they go through a “cutting phase”, I´m sure you´ve heard about this specially if you´ve been in a gym or if you know someone who loves training. Personally I don´t like to follow this scheme, in the bulking phase people tend to gain too much weight and a huge part of it is fat, I prefer to gain muscle mass while staying lean, this means gaining as less body fat as possible. Building as much muscle as possible with the least fat.
Intermittent fasting is a tool that help us gain lean muscle mass with the least amount of fat, staying lean and looking great all year round regardless of our goal is possible. What we need to do is fast for 16 hours and eat in an 8 hour window so we will be having 2 meals per day, and we need to schedule our workouts around our eating window, this can be the hardest part for some of us.
If you have lunch and dinner it will be great if you can workout before dinner, this way we make sure that you are giving your body the nutrients it needs right after the workout so it can recover. It is easier to skip breakfast because our morning are very fast paced so you don´t need to stressed out having a healthy breakfast when you are running late for school or your job and in the mornings there´s always so much to do between meetings, projects, important stuff, appointments so it easier to stay in a fasted state until lunch.
With this option you are giving your body the nutrients it needs when it needs them most and you´re also considering hormones, in the fasting window insulin goes down which improves fat burning and growth hormone is high which helps with muscle building, this works great specially when you fast in the morning by skipping breakfast.
There´s another option you can follow which is to have 3 meals per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, in this option you won´t be following a fasting schedule, just make sure that you have those 3 meals only, no snacks in between.
For muscle growth we need to be in a calorie surplus, we need to eat a little more but if we eat too much we will gain fat. The calorie surplus needs to be just enough for your body to maintain your actual weight, to recover and to grow. If you want to get your macronutrient ratios check this post.
Intermittent fasting makes it easier to stay lean while gaining muscle mass if your goal is to improve your physique and to look as great as possible, this tools makes everything simple and effortless, there´s no reason to overcomplicate things if you have more ambitious goals and you want to compete in shows or you practice any sports professionally then this tool may not be the best option for muscle growth.
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